Tag Archives: festival

Live @ The Isle of Wight Festival 2011 – Day 2

11 Jun



I’ve taken the opportunity to update everyone in the afternoon lull from a beanie bag in the rather eclectic incense-filled surroundings of the H&M lounge. Mike & The Mechanics are on stage but already this morning I’ve seen a multitude of great artists.

Starting off with Lissie on the main stage, the American songstress took her mainly acoustic and rustic sound and managed to fill the main arena surrounding the main stage. When I’m Alone sounded great and her sunny personality complimented the weather. Ending with a cover of Kid Cudi’s Pursuit Of Happiness, the day looked promising.

Semi Precious Weapons
A quick look at the Semi Precious Weapons on the big top stage confirmed the lead singers obsession with sex and cross dressing. Unfortunately the band’s first ever play of Cherries On Ice with girl band The Parade really failed to do anything and sounded almost gratingly amateur.

Stornoway were the next up on the main stage. They provided a nice juxtaposition to Semi Precious Weapons, delivering violins and piano in a set with two upside down sails. I have to confess they were billed at the perfect time, providing great tunes to relax to for brief periods.

The Vaccines
Running back to the big top stage for a festival debut of The Vaccines was well worth the burrowing through the packed tent crowds. Their set started fashionably late and was okay but only got better, delivering a healthy mix of crowd favourites and crowd engagement. For the first time on a festival bill they really performed and I don’t doubt that if they continue in this way we can expect them to feature in some major line ups.

Hurts were next on the hit list and provided the first real spectacle of the day, with dancers and a small light show backdrop. Despite my early fears that they might not have enough material to sustain their one hour main stage set, they managed to do quite well, smashing a microphone stand and delivering a heavy and loud set which was pleasantly surprising.

Iggy and the Stooges

Iggy bounced onto the stage with his brown naked torso showing us why he still is rocking the house. He was obviously under the influence of a few too many but all the better for it. After making the earth shake with a few brazen chords, he set about delivering some of the lines of the festival so far, turning on the VIPs. He told them to get out onto the stage and dance, even you with your “F***ing kid,  get out there or I’ll drag you by your f***ing hair, I hate goddamn f***ing VIPs.” He was worth it for the shear personality and energy he brought onto the late afternoon period of the main stage, and also the early appearance of the Foo Fighter’s Dave Grohl.


I only mention this band in passing because I had the misfortune of walking into the Big Top whilst they were performing. No offence but they are truly awful, misfits in the whole festival thing. They had awful songs, and their song Perfume warrants a boycott after it chased me round by being played on the screens around the festival site. Don’t get me wrong on girl bands, I once -when I was quite young- considered Spice Girls as the height of musical brilliance, looping Wannabe for at least a weekend on my Sony walkman, but this was outdated and horrible. They couldn’t sing, resorted to covers most of the time, and not even their backdrop was inspiring let alone their stage presence, which resulted in their high squeaky accented voices screaming with glee as they forgot what their next song was about. Needless to say I walked out of the tent in under five minutes.

Chase & Status

If The Parade in the Big Top were bad then what came next was simply incomparable to anything. Chase & Status really did make everything that had come before seem feeble. They pitched the new album with style and poise (Kaiser Chiefs take note) and had the crowd both raving and shouting the lyrics. Blind Faith, End Credits came alive, and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to listen to those tunes again on my iPod. The crush to see them was so big that they had to stop the show and ask everyone to get off the tent poles and take a few steps back, a responsible move that gave everyone more space to really dance to the incredible sound they produced.  With the shouts of “Drop, drop, drop,” it was always going to be a good time, what it actually became was burned into my memory as insane.

Foo Fighters

Moving swiftly on, we caught the dying refrains of ‘I want to live like common people’ from Pulp’s set as we forged into the crowd to get as close as we could for the Saturday headliners the Foo Fighters. They walked on and I ate my previous words. My god they were incredible, they struck an excellent balance between old and new, crowd rocking and more quiet, and it only got better. Dedicating Best of You to SeaSick Steve who was in the barrier-cordoned VIP stage area, you know someone is popular when you have to hold VIPs back on the stage. They vowed to play for 3 hours or until they got kicked off. We had the drum singing of Taylor Hawkins and the guitar rifts of David Grohl, there was only rock and everyone was happy. Walk, Best Of You, and The Pretender all left the expected ringing in the ears. They ended with no fireworks, simply copious thanks, a promise to return, and the sound of pure music.To be honest, nothing else was needed. We were left asking “Kings of Who?” They looked as if they were having the times of their lives and loving every second of something rare and beautiful, to quote David Grohl “No f***ing computers only rock and roll.” They did the impossible and topped Kings of Leon, and I fear for Kasabian I really do, but something tells me I really don’t have to. We shall have to wait and see…

Day 3 coming soon.

Live @ The Isle of Wight Festival 2011 – Day 1

11 Jun

So after minor delays and the unfortunate event of missing We Are Scientists, We arrived at the site of the Isle of Wight festival, burning a trail directly to the main stage, and stopping only at the H&M lounge to pick up our access wristbands, arriving halfway through Band of Horses’ set. They provided a short and light introduction into what has to be one of the best line-ups of the summer.

The Courteeners
Next up where The Courteeners who began the real festival action. Getting close proved to be a reckless but awesome experience, and they truly took the atmosphere to a new level. Definitely a band which was perfectly billed for the stage and the crowd, nicely exciting the revellers for the night ahead while delivering their own unique and memorable performance. Frontman Liam Fray was especially outstanding.

 Kaiser Chiefs
The Kaiser Chiefs were next on the main stage and they  came on to a ready and waiting crowd. The people five metres from the front were readying themselves for the brazen chorus of ‘I predict a riot’ and the antics to accompany it. Unfortunately their first song put this vision in jeopardy and we were suddenly looking at a band trying to sell their new stuff from The Future Is Medieval, which wasn’t festival worthy in its lyrics or tunes. They started to rectify this with a few older tracks from their repertoire, Ruby and I Predict A Riot came and went, but there still were too many new tracks which left the crowd unsure as to how to respond. The mood could be summed up by taking another sample of their lyrics ‘we are the angry mob, we love you, we love you, we hate you we hate you, oh but we are oh so easily swayed.’ Thank god they ended with ‘oh my god I’ve never been this far from home.’ It was noticeable that they’ve fallen slightly from the days they used to headline this stage in 2008.

Kings of Leon
If Kaiser Chiefs need any advice on how to run a Friday night main stage, I refer them to the headliners. Kings of Leon. The moment they stepped on stage you could tell why they deserve that first word in their band name, despite their frontman Anthony Followill’s humble words claiming that he didn’t know how to front a band but still had a hell of a lot of fun. Their rule was glorious, equally rocking the ground and delivering more mellow tracks as darkness engulfed Seaclose Park. After their awesome entrance, they had a task to provide an end which befitted them. After the lasers and light show, the fireworks crowned them the kings of the festival season so far, framing the stage and lighting up the sky, while exploding from the backdrop. I don’t envy the task Foo Fighters and Kasabian have over the next two days, though I have seen flying equipment today so I’m preparing to eat my words this evening.

More soon from the Isle of Wight festival.